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Enbridge starts more dredging this week, hopes to finish most projects by December 31 deadline

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
The Kalamazoo River delta just north of Morrow Lake will take longer to clean up. Enbridge officials say clean up won't be done until 2014.

This week an oil pipeline company began another project to dredge oil that remains from the 2010 Kalamazoo River spill.

Enbridge Energy spokesman Jason Manshum says the company is working near the mouth of Morrow Lake in Kalamazoo County. But they have to complete the work before ice starts to form.

“If we need to look at doing something there in 2014 we certainly will. But right now our focus is to try to get this done while we still have favorable weather conditions,” Manshum said.

In March the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Enbridge to remove up to 18,000 gallonsof submerged oil by the end of this year. Manshum said earlier this month that won’t happen.  

Manshum says clean-up crews are making “good progress” and they want to get as much work done as possible by year's end. They took a risk, deciding to start the work near the mouth of Morrow Lake without EPA’s written approval.

“We’ve had daily conversations with (the EPA) about this upcoming and now ongoing work activity which is why we felt comfortable enough that we could begin this week,” Manshum said.

Manshum says they hope to remove about 3,500 cubic yards of sediment where the Morrow Delta meets Morrow Lake. The project is expected to take four to six weeks.

Manshum says Enbridge expects to finish all the dredging in EPA’s order at locations in Calhoun County.

The company has spent more than $1 billion on cleanup efforts since the oil spill in 2010.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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